Question for all you experienced forum members. I’m considering changing speakers to Dynaudio Contour 20i, currently have Dynaudio Special 40’s and wondering if my setup below would be adequate enough to drive them. I’m pleased with the 40’s, just considering an upgrade and must stay with stand mounts. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.
PSA BHK Pre, PSA M1200’s, PSA P12
Cambridge Audio Alva TT, Bluesound Node 2i
Audioquest Rocket 44 speaker cable, Mackenzie IC’s
Are the ones you want much different than the ones you have in sensitivity and impedance? If not, you’re good to go.
Thanks for the input. Slight difference in impedance and crossover. (See below) Added pic of my system.
Sensitivity: 86dB (2.83V / 1m)
IEC power handling: 180W
Impedance: 4 Ω
Frequency response (± 3 dB):|39Hz–23kHz
Box Principle: Bass reflex rear ported
Crossover frequency: 2200Hz
Crossover topology: 2nd order
Sensitivity: 86dB (2.83V / 1m)
IEC power handling: 200W
Impedance: 6 Ohms
Frequency response (±3dB):|41Hz – 23kHz
Box principle: Bass-reflex rear ported
Crossover frequency: 2000Hz
Crossover typology: 1st order
I own the 20 and I am very pleased with it. They say the 20i has an upgraded tweeter and a better crossover. I am of the view that Special 40 and the C20i share the same sonic signature, and you may not feel a big difference.
Your amp and preamp are more than up to the task with either speaker. If you use it a lot my next step would be an upgraded streamer/DAC or at least a new DAC.
Serhan - Thanks for the feedback. I really appreciate it and may have to step back and reassess.
dawkinsj - Great recommendation. I do use Tidal quite regularly, so may need to rethink my plans. Was actually looking at the Auralic Altair G1.
Thank you both.
Altair G1 is a solid choice if you want to stay with DAC/Streamer combo. I’ve owned three Auralic streamers with an Aries G1 in the main system now.
That’s great to hear as I really would like to stick with a 1 box Streamer/DAC. Thanks
I have Rocket 44 with the AQ 1000 series bananas on the amp side, and 1000 series spades on the speaker side. They made a noticeable difference. Cable terminations always do, be it power, speakers, or interconnects. You can buy the 1000 and DIY install them. If you ever do, do not wipe the conductive grease off the copper cable. Also, I have AQ Water XLR all through. They took a while to burn in, but the result was worth the $$ and the wait.
One more thing: for years, I resisted subwoofers as being non-audiophile. Recently, I pulled an old Dynaudio sub 250 II from the box and connected it to the RCA outputs of the BHK pre. The sub is leftover from a system I bought for my son. Classical records sound much better now, and the sub is not going back to the box. So, if I ever upgrade, I would either consider a sub, or go for something that has a bottom frequency below 30Hz.
Thanks for the recommendations. I actually have a pair of Sumiko S5 subs (similar to REL setup) and may test them with the S40’s. After weighing in on your prior feedback, I may keep the S40’s instead of swapping for the Contour 20i. I’m using AQ Rocket 44’s terminated with 500 silver banana connectors and XLR Mackenzie IC’s
Now thinking of going with an Auralic Altair G1 streamer/DAC instead of speaker swap.
Hopefully I am giving you the right advice
-Altair G1 is nice, and has balanced outputs. Having two preamps feeding each other is not advisable and it is my understanding that Altair has a preamp stage. So, hopefully it would have either a bypass or something to give you a fixed volume into the BHK preamp.
-Do you have plans to use Roon? I resisted Roon, but finally joined and had to get me A Nucleus+. Just a thought for the future.
I think you’ll get a better sonic improvement with this planned upgrade than you would have with the speaker swap
All good. The Altair does have a fixed option setting. Thanks again.
Thanks. Really appreciate it. I’m strongly leaning in that direction.
Just to be transparent, I made that statement based on what I’d expect to be a massive upgrade in digital sound quality with the move from Bluesound (which is okay for starting out but easily beaten on SQ, though the interface is top-notch) to Auralic, than on a speaker swap difference, which I don’t have a good handle on how much improvement that would produce. But when I read your initial gear list, the Node jumped out as the weakest link to me.
That makes sense, the Node is the weakest link. Seems as though a jump from the S40’s to Contour 20’s wouldn’t be that great. And thanks for being transparent.
The slightly different lines with similar pricing are generally just slight changes in voicing to appeal to another type of listener or just a different look.
One thing I noticed looking at various Dyn standmount speakers is a big variation in how amp friendly they can be.
Most are pretty tough loads (lower sensitivity, lower impedance, sometimes difficult impedance/frequency spectrum), but there are some like Excite x14 that are much easier to drive.
Kinda odd so much variation IMO.
I’m strongly considering the X14 for some variety
Excite X14 is an award winning speaker. However, I am not sure they still manufacture the Excite series. Their 2020 iteration of Evoke comes with the latest drivers and crossovers. Dynaudio speakers impedance is quite stable, meaning you could use tube preamps to drive them.